What is branding?
My parents like to tell a story from my childhood. When I was a toddler they would put me in the backseat of the car in child’s car seat when they would take me somewhere like to the store or to a friend’s house. When we would drive down the highway, I would see golden arches through the car window and yell, “Donald’s!”
Now, I was only two or three years old at the time. I wasn’t old enough to read. I could barely see high enough to see through the car window. But when I saw those arches it meant something to me.
My parents would sometimes take me to McDonald’s for a Happy Meal. I would associate the burger and fries with the golden arches.
That is branding.
A brand is anything—a symbol, design, name, sound, reputation, emotion, employees, tone, and much more—that separates one thing from another. In the case of McDonald’s, the golden arches became part of the brand. Those arches separate their product from all other fast food restaurants and they’re a recognizable symbol even with kids.
Branding on a business-level is common, but today branding is becoming just as important on a personal level. After all, you might work for a business that works with other businesses, but it’s people working with people and that’s what makes business relationships valuable.
Why should you build your personal brand?
Building a recognizable personal brand opens professional opportunities.
Creating a vision for your future and implementing that vision can lead to:
- A better job
- Better contacts and clients for your company
- Industry recognition
- And more
If you’re looking for a better job, you want your potential boss at your ideal company to associate your personal brand with something that she needs on her team.
If you’re looking to grow the sales for a company, you want potential clients to associate your personal brand with a feeling of trust and long-term success and satisfaction.
This guide will take your through all the steps you need to take to create a your unique personal brand. In today’s job market and entrepreneurial landscape, there is no room for being another face in the crowd. You have to separate yourself from the competition. You have to be more appealing to your target audience and you can achieve it by creating a recognizable personal brand.
Not Everything In This Guide Will Apply To You
This is an advanced guide to building your personal brand. There is a lot of information covering many different steps you can take to build your personal brand.
However, not everything in this guide needs to be followed to reach your goals. Not everything in the guide applies to everyone so if you notice something that doesn’t fit your vision or your goals it’s okay.
The purpose of this guide is to cover as much as possible about the process of building a personal brand. In the final chapter, we discuss why it’s important to be yourself. You can take the information here as a guide, but use the information in your own way. Follow steps exactly or use certain information and create your own steps for finding success.
Expert Roundup: Quotes From Successful & Influential Individuals
For this guide we wanted to include quotes from well-known individuals in the online world. These are people that have been the reason for the success of some of the most successful brands in the world. They know what it takes to succeed and that includes their feelings on building a personal brand.
We asked three questions:
- What one action, decision, or choice has had the single biggest impact in the growth of your personal brand?
- If you were building an online presence from scratch today, what 3 things would you consider to provide the biggest ROI on your time and money?
- For those looking to create a strong online brand, which 3 online influencers would you recommend they follow?
Throughout this guide you’ll find the answers along with actionable steps you can take to follow the advice of these experts.
- Chapter One How To Create Your Personal Brand Vision Businesses create vision and mission statements. Creating a personal brand begins much the same way by creating a personal vision. Only you can determine how you want your life to unfold. You can’t control every aspect of your life, but you can create a long-term vision and develop steps to achieve that vision. Your life’s vision should include how you see yourself in 10, 20 and even 50 years. Consider the elements in life that would make you happy—a family, a beach house, a challenging corporate job? There are no right or wrong answers and in this chapter we’ll guide you through the steps necessary to create your personal vision.